Paranormal Lockdown UK; Acorn; Mr Bean Returns; Dwight Eisenhower Drama – Global Briefs

Discovery’s US supernatural series Paranormal Lockdown is being remade in the UK after the factual broadcaster ramped up its originals for free-to-air station Quest Red. The broadcaster has ordered Paranormal Lockdown UK from US producer Groff Entertainment, starring Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman as they conduct in-depth research, expert and witness interviews, cinematic reenactments and a 72-hour lockdown, to delve into the history and hauntings of the UK’s most paranormally active properties. Elsewhere, the Discovery-backed broadcaster has ordered series including Saving Britain’s Wildlife from Dog Rescuers producer Middlechild Productions and Dogs on Duty from ScreenChannel TV as well as a second series of Shiver-produced Katie Price: My Crazy Life. Clare Laycock, VP, Head of Channels, Quest Red, TLC & ID at Discovery Networks UK and Ireland, said: “Quest Red’s first year has been incredibly strong, proving there’s a real appetite for ‘irresistibly real TV amongst free-to-air audiences.  This slate of commissions comes as we continue to invest into the most popular genres on the channel – crime, animals, reality and paranormal; commissioning original British content to keep the momentum building and take Quest Red to its next level of growth.”

Acorn TV, the U.S. streaming service, is continuing its drive for original commissions after boarding Australia comedy series Sando. Acorn Media Enterprises (AME) has partnered with Jungle Entertainment, ABC Australia and Screen Australia in association with Create NSW to produce the family comedy series, which stars Sacha Horler (The Kettering Incident) as the charismatic loose cannon CEO of a popular discount furniture store chain. It comes as the SVOD service stepped in to commission a second series of British crime drama Agatha Raisin after UK pay broadcaster Sky decided not to continue with the Ashley Jensen-fronted series. “Following the success of British comedy Detectorists, we’re excited to add an Australian comedy to Acorn Media Enterprises rapidly growing co-production and Acorn TV Original slate. With its hilarious script and engaging lead performance by Sacha Horler, we’re thrilled to work with Jungle Entertainment, ABC Australia and Screen Australia in association with Create NSW to bring Sando to North American, United Kingdom, Australian and New Zealand audiences.” said Bea Tammer, Programming Manager of Acorn Media Enterprises.

President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address, warning of the country’s military-industrial complex, is the inspiration for a six-part Australian drama produced by NBC Universal-owned firm Matchbox Pictures. Pay-TV broadcaster Foxtel has ordered Secret City: Under The Eagle, a sequel to its 2016 eponymous drama. The political thriller stars Fringe’s Anna Torv alongside Jacki Weaver, Sacha Horler, Marcus Graham, Justin Smith, Danielle Cormack and Rob Collins. Shooting starts in Canberra later this month and the series is distributed internationally by NBC Universal International Television Distribution. “Eisenhower’s warning to the world, now even more relevant than ever, gave us the unsettling story we were looking for,” said Matchbox Pictures’ Penny Chapman. “After watching Eisenhower’s speech we decided to look at the US/Australian alliance and the US’s involvement in wars.”

Mr Bean is back with a third series. The classic British comedy character, created by Rowan Atkinson, is returning for a third, animated series after CITV and Turner’s Boomerang ordered a 26 x 11-minute run. The series will air in 2019 and will be produced by Endemol Shine Group’s Tiger Aspect Productions. Atkinson will continue to voice the series, which airs in 195 territories. Ben Cavey, MD of Tiger Aspect Productions said “We are extremely excited to be starting the third animated series of Mr Bean. The global and enduring appeal of the character continues to grow and grow, and we are very happy to continue to help more and more children and families discover the unique source of comedy and joy that is Mr Bean”.

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